Skip to main content
10:30 am
>> schieffer: today on "face the nation," israel bombs terrorist targets in gaza for the fifth straight day from the air and the sea. israel has launched more than 1,000 strikes at gaza and warns today it will go directly after the territory hamas leaders. palestinian militants continue to fire rockets into israel, including one bound for tel aviv that was shot down by the israeli missile defense system. we'll go to our correspondents in the region for the latest. in thailand, where he was beginning his asian tour, the president strongly sided with israel. >> there's no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders. so we are fully supportive of
10:31 am
israel's right to defend itself from missiles landing on people's homes. and workplaces and potentially killing civilians. and we will continue to support israel's right to defend itself. >> schieffer: back home, the controversy continues over the administration handling of the episode in libya that left four people, including the american ambassador dead. >> this president, this administration has either been guilty of colossal incompetence or engaged in a cover-up, neither of which are acceptable to the american people. >> schieffer: mccain will be with us this morning, and we'll also get the take of the senate's number two democrat, dick durbin. for analysis we'll bring in the "washington post's" david ignatius. tom ricks, august of can the gen. and our own bob orr and margaret brennan. and we'll have a farewell interview with maine's
10:32 am
republican senator olympia snowe, who's leaving the senate because she no longer felt it was a place she could get anything done. it's been a wild week, but we'll try to put it in perspective on "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: and good morning again. we want to get right to the story in the middle east. , israel continuing to amass troops on the period with gaza. three israelis are dead, more than 50 wounded by rocket fire. the airstrikes go on. the question now, will the israelis send their ground troops into gaza? we're going first this morning to alan pizzey who is in tel aviv. allen. >> reporter: good morning, bob. overnight the israelis continued to pound positions in gaza.
10:33 am
they've expand their operation away from just purely military targets into the hamas infrastructure. interestingly overnight hamas did not send any rockets into israel but they started again when dawn broke and around about lunchtime here in tel aviv, two long-range missiles were aimed at tel aviv, intercepted by the iron dome system, a new system the israelis put in that detects and interprets rockets in the air. it's been fairly successful. here in tel aviv you wouldn't know anything is going on. the siren goes off, everybody runs, but then they're back out and life is pret much back to normal. that is not to say everybody isn't teps. there are 75,000 reservists ready to go. the prime minister said after a cabinet meeting that israel would intensify the conflict if it was necessary. everybody seems to be looking for a way out of this. the egyptians are really playing a role in this to try to broker it. they've been talking to the hamas leadership. they've brought in turkey and
10:34 am
qatar to help them out. they're all saying we think we might be able to do this. bear in mind, this is not the egypt of hosey you in barrack. the egyptian government now are muzz lum brotherhood, and israel is in a less-tenable negotiating position and they remain military strong but do they want to go in on the ground take hundreds of thousands of casualties? that they've within boehnered will cause them to lose the international support they have. it's one of those 50-50 chance things but it's looking like everybody is looking fair way out. the question is, in a region like this, is there a way out. >> schieffer: well allen pizzey, who always shows up in the worst place where's the workforce things are going on, thank you. cbs news correspondent charlie dag tais on the other side of the border in gaza. charlie, bring us up to speed. what is the situation like
10:35 am
there. >> reporter: well, the mood here is extremely teps, and the biggest worry is this dangerous and unpredictable situation may be about to get worse. as we drove through the northern part gaza strip, we were shown a couple of bombed out buildings, and one looked to be three or four stories high. it completely collapsed in a densely populated neighborhood. we also saw crater craters that looked to be in vacant lots. they may have been targeted because these are the areas suspected to hold rocket launching sites. the israel military has also started targeting media centers, one of the transmission points that serves as the television channel for hamas other and broadcasters. the rooftop of this high rise has lots of antennas and satellite dishes on top of it. at the same time, we saw outgoing rockets. we heard a series of loud pops, sort of the signature sign of outgoing weapons, and just a few blocks away from us, we were able to count six smoke trails from where those rockets had
10:36 am
just been launched. you can hear drones flying overhead constantly. it has never stopped since we've been here. you can hear a couple at a time at times. we also have heard fighter jets overhead recently. you can also see and hear emergency services, ambulance and fire trucks in the streets. but both sides seem to be ratcheting it up. as soon as we arrived our pal stippian colleagues told us to keep our flak jackets on, even ipdoors because it had become too dangerous. they said in the last 24 hours they had seen the worse since the fighting began earlier this week. >> schieffer: all right, charlie, you be careful and we thank you. >> reporter: thanks, bob. >> schieffer: here in the studio with us is david ignatius, from the "washington post." david you probably know as much about this part of the world as anybody i know, least here in washington. what is the administration doing? where is the diplomacy headed here? >> the administration has been very supportive of israel
10:37 am
initially saying the cause for israel military action against gaza was the continuing rain of missile comes from gaza since the last cease-fire broke down. israelis tell me there have been 700 missiles and they essentially paralyzed the southern parent of israel. people just have to go indoors every time they hear the sirens. in the excellent reports on the scene from your correspondents i heard two new things, one the role of the egyptian president, a different kind of president we have seen in egypt, member of the muslim brotherhood, working with another strong islamist, the prime minister of turkey. the danger for israel is that they would move away from the cold peace egypt has. the opportunity for israel is they would take greater ownership of hamas and broker a cease-fire. the other new thing-- and it is really important soo israel is beginning to have a real missile defense. if your viewers go to youtube and just punch in iron dome, which is the name of this
10:38 am
system, paid for partly with u.s. tax money, they will see amazingly effective antimissile technology at work. and that's said to be 90% successful. it discriminates between the missiles that are going to hit cities and the ones that are just going to land in the woods and takes out the ones that are headed for cities. so it's a potential game changer here. >> schieffer: all right, well, david you'll be back if our rowntable later in the broadcast. i want to turn now to john mccain, a member of the armed services committee, the ranking republican on armed services. senator, what can the united states do here? obviously, no bon wants this thing to spiral out of control. >> well, the united states, obviously, should be as heavily involved as they possibly can. i'm not sure how much influence that this administration has. the president's first priority in 2009 was the israeli-palestinnian peace process. obviously, there was no progress
10:39 am
there, and there are various reasons for it. we won't waste the time. i think several things make this issue very dangerous. one is egypt and the whole change in the middle east as a result of the arab spring. egypt was always a reliable break on these palestinian factions. apparently, president mursi playing an active role, that's good. if it hadn't been for the iron dome israeli would be in gaza right now, that's a worthwhile u.s. investment. when we talk about foreign aid sometimes. and third of all, i think that it's very important that we recognize that the united states of america has got to push as hard as we can to resolve this israeli-palestinnian issue. and so many events are-- hinge on making that process go forward. >> schieffer: well, what can the president do to get that process going? first thing, obviously, is to get this-- get some sort of a
10:40 am
cease-fire in place here? >> well, the first thing i would do is not do what he did back in 2009 and have preconditions on israel and settlement. that made it a nonstarter among other things. the second thing i would do, i would find someone even as high-ranking, frankly, as former president bill clinton to go and be the negotiator. i know he'd hate me for saying th, but we need a person of enormous prestige and influence to have these parties sit down together as an honest broker. but we have a lot of work to do to regain some credibility because we're crumbling all over the middle east . al qaeda is on the comeback. you saw in the last couple of days, fighting between the kurds ankurds and iraqi on the border. the whole mali situation where al qaeda has taken over. al qaeda training camps are in western iraq. the iranians continue, as we see, the latest i.a.e.a. report on their path towards nuclear weapons. you look at the whole middle
10:41 am
east and it's been a significant failure north to mention our reset with the russians. . >> schieffer: let's talk a little bit about libya. you were talking a lot about that. you and the president really kind of had a little set-to last week over the situation in libya because you said once again that you would oppose the nomination of susan rice to be secretary of state. a lot of people in the administration say she is the odds-on favorite to replace hillary clinton because of her performance on television after it the benghazi attacks when she said it was the result of spontaneous demonstrations in ejim, and not-- and was not a terrorist attack. are you standing fast on that? >> well, she has a lot of explaining to do, and i'm curious why she has not are you puddated those remarks. on this show, the libyan national president, obviously, said it was al eda.
10:42 am
bob, this goes back to the beginning, this light footprint policy of this presidency. after we helped the libbians oust gaddafi, they need a lot of help-- and they could pay for it, by the way, with an army, secure the borders, get rid of these militias -- it was in a country that was basically chaotic, and we did almost nothing. and then there became these reports from our embassy and other personnel about attacks on our embassy twice, both in april and in june. the assassination attempt on the british ambassador. the british closed their consulate. the list goes on and on. on august 16 there was a message sent back we could not repail sustained attack on our consulate. so what was the state department doing? what was-- why didn't we on september 11 have military forls capable of intervening in a fight that lasted for seven hours? so all these questions need to be answered, and finally, for the president of the united states in the second debate
10:43 am
said, "i said it was an act of terror in the rose garden or september 12." one, he didn't. that night, we now know, on september 12 in "60 minutes" he said, "it's too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved." and finally, on september 25 at the united nations, the president said a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the muslim world. i mean, even on the 25th, after it was well known, this was an al qaeda-affiliated attack and not a spontaneous demonstration, there still was this obfuscating, and that was not appropriate for the american people. >> schieffer: let me ask you, senator-- >> could i ninely say. i wish the president wouldn't get mad at me. i wish he would spend our time finding out what happened, what caused it, and what we-- four brave americans died. their families and americans deserve to know and how to we prevent a future occurrence. >> schieffer: let me just ask you this because this is a question people ask me.
10:44 am
if the administration misled people, if the administration was reluctant to say that this was a work of terrorists-- if, in fact, it was-- why would they be so reluctant to say that? >> i think you could assume if you're-- you know, you look at their narrative. their narrative of the president eye got bin laden, al qaeda's on the run, that narrative of reelection campaign. he hasn't gotten them. al qaeda is not on the run. al qaeda is making a strong comeback all over the middle east. they've got terrorist training camps in iraq. they've taken over a country. mali, in north africa. they're all over libya. so it may interfere with that narrative. but, again, there's one other aspect we've covered in other times. they said they wanted to not give classified assessment of what happened because they didn't want to betray sources.
10:45 am
well, if a classified assessment changed the classified assessment why would you keep that from the american people? >> schieffer: in other words, you're saying the unclassified version told one story, and the classified information told another story. it's not they were just withholding details. you're saying they gave two different stories. >> it certainly-- certainly-- without the mention-- the unclassified without the mention-- the mention of al qaeda. and we all know now that al qaeda-affillated groups were behind this and that it was not a spontaneous demonstration. so we really need to get through this. we need to work together for the sake of these families. but to tell the american people even on the 25th of september when it was well known, before the united nations, that a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage, we know that-- >> schieffer: would you-- senator, would you be willing to
10:46 am
reconsider susan rice's nomination if in fact she's nominated or if she can explain to you-- give you a better explanation of the-- >> i think we give all nominees the benefit of a hearing process, et cetera. maybe she could start out by publicly coming back on this show and saying, "i was wrong. i gave the wrong information on your show some several weeks ago." that might be a beginning. . >> schieffer: but until then, you will remain opposed to her nomination. >> under the present circumstances, i don't-- until we find out all the information as to what happened-- i don't think you could want to support any nominee right now because of this is-- this is very, very serious, and it has even large are implications than the deaths of four americans. it really goes to the heart of this light footprint policy that this administration has been pursuing. and all of the failures throughout middle east that are-- the chickens are now coming home to roost.
10:47 am
>> schieffer: all right, senator, thank you so much for being with us. we'll get another take on this in one minute. design the wells to be safe. thousands of jobs. use the most advanced technology to protect our water. billions in the economy. at chevron, if we can't do it right, we won't do it at all. we've got to think long term. we've got to think long term. ♪ we've got to think long term. we've got to think long term. because they couldn't see what made people different. today, retailers from the us to japan are using analytics to find insight in social chatter, reviews and sales transactions. helping some companies increase online revenue up to 50% by
10:48 am
offering customers an experience as unique as they are. that's what i'm working on. i'm an ibmer. let's build a smarter planet. >> schieffer: joining me now from chicago, the number two democrat in the senate leadership dick durbin of illinois. senator durbin, we should start right out with what senator mccain just said. what's your response? >> eight years ago, when president bush suggested condoleezza rice for secretary of state, some people said, "well, wait a minute. wasn't she part of misleading the american people about intelligence information that led to our invasion of iraq?" and it was senator mccain and senator graham who stood up and said don't hold her accountable for the intelligence that was given to her. she was simply relating what she had heard. eight years later, susan rice, who may or may not be a nominee for secretary of state, is being
10:49 am
held by senator mccain and senator graham to an entirely different standard. what she reported on your show and others was what she was told by the intelligence agencies. as more information came in, that rendition of facts was abridged and changed. but it wasn't her fault. and to say she has to be held accountable because an intelligence agency didn't tell the whole story initially for reasons of national security is totally unfair. >> schieffer: well we-- i would point out just one thing, she came on, on this broadcast immediately after the president of libya, who said flatley, this was the work of terrorists, some of them from mali,s" from outside the country. and secretary rice stuck to her-- stuck to her story, as it were, and said, no, our best information is, it was a result, a reaction of those demonstrations that were happening in egypt. i guess what i would ask you,
10:50 am
senator, do you honestly believe as an ambassador at one of our key ambassadors to the united nations, all secretary rice would have known about this was what somebody gave her niin a set of talking point to be on television? >> well, bob, that's exactly what happened. and to say "she stuck to her story" i don't think is accurate. she stuck to the story that was given her by her intelligence agencies a very short time after this incident occurred. now general petraeus and others are explaining, well, we didn't quite tell everything because we didn't want to jeopardize friends of the united states and lib 82 who were providing us with information. to hold ambassador rice accountable for a decision by intelligence agencies -- not by her, not by the white house-- to withhold some part of the information is fundamentally unfair. >> schieffer: do you think there's anything kind of peculiar about this, though, senator? why is it-- why is this controversy going on? why was the administration reluctant to tell us what we now
10:51 am
know they knew? >> well, the intelligence agencies were reluckant,aise mentioneddarier, they didn't want to compromise sources. and i understand that. but i also think this issue was stoked up because it was in the midst of a presidential campaign. bob, you can remember, throughout history, we have had these terrible incidents. it was under president reagan that 230 united states marines were killed in a barracks in beirut, lebanon. a terrible tragedy. people didn't call for the impeachment of president reagan. they said let's find out what happened, hold those responsible accountable. that's the same thing we should do here, and as we hold these hearings in the foreign relations commitee which i attended last week in a classify setting-- and the intelligence committees more and more information comes forward. we'll be able to make america safer and keep those who represent our country in dangerous places safer if we take an honest and objective view of what happened in beg.
10:52 am
>> schieffer: all right, senator, we didn't have a lot of time this morning but i do want to thank you for coming by and giving that side of the story. i'll be right back with some thoughts of my own on another subject.
10:53 am
i put away money. i was 21, so i said, "hmm, i want to retire at 55." and before you know it, i'm 58 years old. time went by very fast. it goes by too, too fast. ♪ but i would do it again in a heartbeat. [ laughs ] ♪ ♪ part of a whole new line of tablets from dell. it's changing the conversation. ♪ governor of getting it done. you know how to dance... with a deadline. and from national.
10:54 am
because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. this is awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is, business pro. yes, it is. go national. go like a pro. yes, it is. if we want to improve our schools... ... what should we invest in? maybe new buildings? what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows... ... nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation. let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this. >> schieffer: i was away a couple of days last week, so when i sat down yesterday morning with my coffee and the "washington post," i had to read
10:55 am
the first paragraph of the story at the top of the page twice. i couldn't believe it. i won't repeat the whole thing, but right there in black and white it said, "the nation's leaders joined hands friday and pledged fast and far-reaching action to tame the public debt and avoid economic tax hikes set to hit in january." i'm not exactly an optimist about congress doing the right thing. you'll get better odds wagering they won't do anything. but republican and democratic leaders came out of their meeting with the president friday smiling and calling it a good meeting. it's been a while since we've heard even that. republicans said they were serious about finding more revenue to run the government. democrats said they were serious about spending cuts. staffers are already working this weekend on the framework of a deal to be presented to the president after thanksgiving. now i've been saying that chances for a deal were slim to
10:56 am
none. well i'm changing that to a maybe. we are still a long, long way from a deal, but in today's washington, we are a long way from where we were just a week ago. back in a minute. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.
10:57 am
that bringing you better technology helps make you a better investor. with our revolutionary e-trade 360 dashboard you see exactly where your money is and what it's doing live. our e-trade pro platform offers powerful functionality
10:58 am
that's still so usable you'll actually use it. and our mobile apps are the ultimate in wherever whenever investing. no matter what kind of investor you are, you'll find the technology to help you become a better one at e-trade. >> for most of you we'll be right back with an interview with olympia snowe and david ignatius, tom ribs, bob orr and margaret brennan. stay with us
10:59 am
11:00 am
>> schieffer: welcome back to "face the nation." joining me now maine republican senator olympia snowe. she is a member of the senate intelligence committee, a well-known moderate republican who is retiring after 18 years in the senate. and i have to say, senator, to me, it was another sign, a real sign that our political system is broken when you announcethat you were retiring from the senate because you just couldn't get anything done there anymore. and it will be the senate's loss. but we wish you well. let me just talk to you-- and i do want to talk to you about your reasons and all of that, but first, you're a member of the intelligence commit, where do you weigh in on this whole benghazi situation? >> well, first and foremost, we have to get to the truth, and as a member of the senate intelligence committee, we're doing exactly that. we have had it at least eight
11:01 am
hours of hearings this last week. we intend to have at least three more hearings and publish a report at the conclusion of those hearings. what is most disturbing, in my estimation, is the discrepancy about those talking points and the reality that exist on the ground, and why the administration wasn't able to get the information in a more accurate picture of what transpired and delivered to the american people with confidence, and pulling the pieces together in a way that we knew exactly who was responsible you know, for killing four of our americans and attacking our facilities. and, unfortunately, they didn't do that. it took so long-- in fact, it took 17 days for the director of national intelligence even to issue a statement to say that it was a deliberate and organizeterrorist attack. that's unacceptable in today's environment. >> schieffer: do you have any answers yet as to why-- we know that they had asked to maintain
11:02 am
their-- the current level of security and that was turned down. do we have any idea on what that decision was based on? >> no, and we're still getting to the bottom of that. that's one of my primary concerns. and that's certainly what i'm driving. first of all, why there was failure for adequate security at the temporary mission. and secondly, why they didn't assess the security risks posed to that facility? they had abundance of threat reports and incidents, both to that facility and other consulates that would have suggested that they were in a high-threat environment. i sponsored-- i cosponsored the initial legislation-- i was the lead republican in the house-- to create the diplomat security bureau and the accountability review board that also has been initiate so we can get to the bottom of who is responsible. there was minimal security. the barriers weren't
11:03 am
sufficient. the attackers, the mob, overran the complex. the militia we were depending on disbursed, did not provide defense, and we had very few security personnel-- >> schieffer: on the anniversary of 9/11. >> exactly. >> schieffer: let me ask you this, have you established why the ambassador went there on 9/11. obviously, the ambassador in any country knows the intelligence situation. he should be the most informed person in the country, because the station chief of the c.i.a. reports to him, basically, as does everyone else in the country. do we know why he went there? >> well, my understanding is that he had preestablished meetings, obviously aware of the environment that existed there. but he liked to commingle with the people in libya and in benghazi and, you know, had prepared for this trip and didn't disrupt it in making those decisions about preplanned
11:04 am
activities. but it's clear, we've got a lot of answers to secure regarding the overall lack of security and why the intelligence community weren't-- wasn't able to get the message out and the administration as to why we didn't have a full and complete pictures too who was responsible in the days following that event. >> schieffer: senator, i want to ask you about your retirement, because i really did think it was kind of a markener time. when a member of the senate would say this is no longer the place that one can accomplish anything. this must been a hard decision for you. >> it was very much so, bob, and i appreciate your comment. and i did-- and it was something i had to think about, and i started to think about the future of the senate and what had transpired. it wasn't what i had been accustomed to building bipartisan bridges and i felt i could be a more effective voice on the outside and building bridges and providing a support
11:05 am
system and a network to support members of congress who are willing to work across the political aisle. i'm building a web site through social media as well so people reward those individuals who are willing to compromise. >> schieffer: what has gone wrong? when i came to washington, people compromised. now it's a dirty word? when did that happen? >> well, you know, it's a good question. it happened, unfortunately, story rapidly, and somehow people think compromising is capitulating on your principles. far from it. you have to talk with people whom you disagree. i thought how best i contribute my 34 years of experience and voice on the outside so that we don't return to this kind of dysfunction ever again, especially at this moment in time for our history. but the essence of public service is solving problems, and we've lost that central purpose. and we have to return to it. and hopefully, we have some starters here with the fiscal cliff decisions, that we can
11:06 am
have confidence-building measures in the final analysis. because there's a sense of urgency. so hopefully the concillation of words will turn into urgency of action. >> schieffer: are you optimistic at all about them find something way to get past this fiscal cliff? >> um, i think they will. you know, i think on the short term they have to. because every thing will ratchet up the risk to the economy. we've already seen a 600-point crop in the dow jones. europe has returned to recession. we could trigger a double-dip recession. we could ill afford to repeat the debacle surrounding the debt ceiling crisis in 2011, that created the highest level of policy uncertainty over the last 20 years, surpassing the wares, surpassing nav 9/11, and even
11:07 am
surpassing the financial crisis. we have no choice. i hope they have gotten the message from the last election. people want their elected officials to work together. >> schieffer: senator i want to thank you for being with us this morning. i want to wish you the best of luck, and washington wil will be less because are you no longer a member of the senate. we wish you well. >> thank you, bob, very much, for those kind words. >> schieffer: and we'll be back in one minute. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... they can inspire our students. let's solve this. music is a universal language.
11:08 am
but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost. so i never missed a beat. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. >> schieffer: well, there's been a lot going on in washington this week, to say the least. the investigation into what happened in benghazi, what happened to general petraeus. we're going to talk to our panel now back again, "washington post" columnist david ignatius. longtime defense writer for the "washington post," tom rickes, now the author of a new book called "the generals: american military command from world war ii to today."
11:09 am
and cbs news state department correspondent margaret brennan, margaret, welcome to you, and cbs news justice correspondent bob orr who has been following all of this situation. let's talk-- let's just start here at home. where are we on all of this situation involving these investigations into general petraeus, into benghazi? i mean, bob, how many investigations are going? >> i know of three right now, bob. the c.i.a. inspector general is doing an internal review of whether or not former director petraeus misused any agency assets during his 14 months on the job. so that's number one. number two, the department of defense inspector general is looking into these communications and e-mail betweens general allen and jill kelley, the tampa socialite. there are interesting developments there. this started out as a raft of information. we were told 20 to 30,000 e-mails and communication back and forecast. that was adjusted downward to a couple hundreds. now we're told it's just a hand full of questionable and perhaps
11:10 am
problematic e-mails. and of course the third track involves paula broadwell, biographer of petraeus. and the f.b.i. still has an investigation into broadwell because of her handle ago and perhaps mishandling of of classified information. and there could be other investigations, frankly, we are not aware of. >> schieffer: tom ricks i was struck by something you wrote in an op-ed or someplace that you didn't approve of general petraeus and paula broadwell but you also thought it was none of your business. >> i think there are two scandals in the whole petraeus affair. the first scandal is why the f.b.i. was looking into lovers' quarrels. the second and more troubling to me is that we seem to care more about the sex lives of our generals than the real lives of our soldiers. everybody can tell you the name of paula broadwell. nobody can tell you the name of the americans killed in afghanistan in the last week. i saw some stats that said there were about 50 casualties in afghanistan, which is dead and
11:11 am
wounded, since petraeus-- the petraeus affair came out. nobody is paying attention to that. to me, a real scandal is that we tolerated years of mediocre generalship in iraq before petraeus actually did a good job there. a real scandal is that we've had 11 years and 11 commanders in iraq. that's no way to run any business or any operation, that fast turnover. i come away wondering why americans don't pay attention to these wars until they become titillating. >> schieffer: david, is that because we now have the all-volunteer force and, you know, people who don't have a relative or someone they know involved in the military and i know a lot of people that don't know a single person in the military. i mean, i can remember world war ii as a little boy. everybody knew somebody that was involved. somehow now we don't seem to know the people in the military, and they don't know us any more. is this what tom is talking
11:12 am
about? >> i think so, to a disturbing extent, the military has become a different tribe in american society. it's a tribe that americans value enormously from a distance, when soldiers walk through airports, they get spontaneous congratulations, when they walk onation, people stand up and want to shake their hands. i had a senior military officer say to me, this is not a healthy situation for us. we need to be part of the country. we need to be judged by reasonable standards. tom makes a great point that we need to judge our generals by their performance, and if their performance isn't good, we shouldn't sing their praises, these wonderful volunteers-- we need to say perhaps another commander is appropriate. in the case of general petraeus, the only thing i take issue with, tom, about is-- and i think general petraeus would say this himself-- c.i.a. personnel are expected to report any contact they have with people who could have power over them,
11:13 am
who could be in a position where they knew things that the disclosure could be embarrass or worse and make the official with classified information vulnerable. c.i.a. personnel are held to that rule, and you have to hold the director to it. it's clear general petraeus recognized the fact of that. that doesn't go to some of the larger issues that are being spun as this thing gets faster and faster. >> schieffer: margaret, perhaps more important than all of that is this investigation going on into what actually happened in benghazi. where are we in all of that? you heard john mccain this morning. then you heard dick durbin, and then you heard olympia snowe. how is this impacting out at the state department? >> this is one of the most sensitive topics. people feel very personal and take this in a very personal way, this attack. but then you also get foreign service officers on the sidelines who will say to you, "we are very concerned about security. we are very concerned about other soft targets out there."
11:14 am
the department of defense and the state department are reviewing other compound right now to see if other benghazis could exist. there's a real question about the relationship between the c.i.a. and the state department, how they coexist in some of these locations and support each other. but we're really stuck in this lightning rod right now, this question of why the-- "the-- when we knew within the first 24 hours there was credible intelligence that suggested that's what happened i in benghazi. >> schieffer: let me ask the obvious question. why were they so reluckant to talk about terrorism? bob? >> reporter: the people i talk to at c.i.a. and others around town knew pretty early on there were elementes of islamicim radical groups involved in the attack. so early on, they knew there were some loose association if nothing else, of people who participated in this attack on the consulate.
11:15 am
when the information got over to the white house, al qaeda became extremists, and when susan rice went on television, went on this program to talk about what she knew, she took perhaps the most benign interpretation of the information in front of her. but to be clear, this happened in the political season when everything is politicalized and looked through the prism, and i think it's-- we knew what we knew at the beginning and that really hasn't changed. >> schieffer: do we think they changed this around for political reasons, tom? >> i think the phrase "in the political season" is the most importance phrase. it really strikes me that no one can tell me how many security contractors were killed in the iraq war. i've looked into this, working on my books on the iraq war. everybody seems to tell you about the four people in benghazi. so i'm a little bit suspicious of the motive in talking about benghazi so much when nobody's paying attention to this stuff
11:16 am
for years. >> i would just make one point, dirty little secret here is that our intelligence analysts don't know even now how all these factors came together outside the consulate on the night of september 11 so that the consulate was overrun. and that was the-- one of the problems in the days immediately after. they did have intelligence that people linked with al qaeda were in that crowd. but in terms of preplanning, of directives from al qaeda in the magreb, or other senior al qaeda leadership to those people to do something, they don't have that. they had very quickly intelligence that people in that group that attacked the consulate were watching what happened in cairo live on tv, and they had surveillance of them talking about it, and then they go to the consulate to attack. so they were trying to figure out what's the mix of that spontaneous driver and the fact that we know there's part of organized terrorist groups, and, you know, there is a fog of
11:17 am
intelligence analysis and that's a part of what you're seeing here. >> schieffer: well, what i am having trouble with, is anyone-- no one should be more informed or what the situation is in the country than the ambassador. he should have access to all the intelligence. and ambassadors do. why would the ambassador go to benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11-- obviously, that was a date to be considered in any kind of moment-- why did he go, margaret? >> he was supposed to be there to open a cultural center there in benghazi. that's why he was officially there. we may not get some of the answers to these questions until secretary clinton goes to the hill with the probe that the state department did in her hand. sources tell us that probably won't be until the end of december. a lot of that information is going to be about the questions that the state department has asked themselves. it won't necessarily get us inside the white house. it won't necessarily get us
11:18 am
inside the c.i.a. and some of their decision making, but it will lay out what happened, when the requests were made for security, and why, perhaps, they weren't fulfilled in the way that some have said in hindsight they should have been. >> schieffer: bob, i want to go back to you with all these investigations going on. do you see any prosecutions coming here? >> there's going to be a lot of political pressure, i think, on the f.b.i. at the end of the day to produce something. that's just my opinion. but you have the c.i.a. director stepping down. you have general john alep who is nominated to be the supreme allied comabdener europe now under a cloud of suspicion. it's hard to imagine you dust your hands off and say, "well, that was messy." i think there is going to be at least some internal and probably external pressure in the foible on pursue a case, and most likely against paula broadwell. the one thing that might be prosecutable was her handling of classified information. she had clearance to have access
11:19 am
to the classified information. what she didn't have what people with clearances don't have is permission to take that information outside of the secure realm. they found it in her home. they found it in her files. we need make a point-- she's been cooperative with investigators about this and it really would be a relative smack on the hands, i think, to prosecute that charge but it might produce something in the end of the day. >> schieffer: you know, that's something that is not taken lightly in security circles. who was it john deutche, former c.i.a. director who was fired because he took classified information home with him. >> i don't know, it all reminds me of the nanny tax kerr if you havele a few years ago. if you hang around the u.s. military you're constantly getting classified information. it is handed to you, to explain things. if you embed in balling rab, for example, you sit in on meetings. that you had it on the wrong laptop, i find that the smallest
11:20 am
bureaucratic outcome and almost meaningless. >> schieffer: what's going to happen in israel, david? >> well, i think israel is poised, ready to attack, showing it's ready to attack. i don't think it wants to. the question i hear israelis and u.s. officials asking is where does this lead? is israel really in a situation that it has no alternative except every five or six years to take a pom at its adversaries -- is what one israeli official told me-- or is there some pathway to stability, and could it involve a new government in egypt. so that's where i think everybody would like to see it head. obama has worked hard to talk to them to try to steer it in that direction. will that happen? >> the most phones call that secretary clinton has made from the road have been to her counter-part in egypt. and they have been very clear that egypt has a relationship, they have the credibility and influence in the region to push
11:21 am
hamas to stop the attacks. now, there is also a fair amount of funding being held up in washington right now that the egyptians need very immediately. remember, they weren't just one of the top recipients of foreign aid. they have a funding crisis. they have literally been to the point where they have had problems paying bills. so there is some immediate leverage to gets them to act immediately. whether that ends up being effective or not is another question. >> schieffer: well, do we think the administration-- obviously, i would guess they're advising the israelis not to invade. but what beyond that are they trying to do? is this an opening to start a-- the peace process to get it started again, david? >> bob, if-- if-- if mursi, and turkey, the key players, in working toward a cease-fire, we're likely to have a cease-fire. we'll either have a cease-fire or israeli invasion. if there is a cease-fire that is the kind of thing that can be a
11:22 am
building block. if you can pull everybody together, as mad as the egyptians will be, as indignant, that's the start of the process of discussion. that will be a good step. >> do you think lebanon is next? >> well, if-- some people think what this is about is in preparation for a likely war with iran. israel testing the rockets that would be fired against it from gaza, next from lebanon. so we may see something with lebanon soon. they say preliminary, this is a kind of warm-up round of the real conflagration ahead that involves iran. >> schieffer: you really think there's a chance israel would strike iran and try to take out those nuclear-- >> yes, especially given the timing of the gaza thing. they wait until after the american elections were over and now they're getting down to business. >> schieffer: all right. thank you all very much. let's hope everything comes out well. i'm not sure we got any information that indicated it will here today, but we can always hope. we'll be right back.
11:23 am
11:24 am
11:25 am
>> schieffer: well, that's it for today. before we go we want to tell you that cbs news is announcing today major garrett of "national journal" is joining us as our new chief white house correspond. he was a major contributor to our campaign coverage and will continue to write a column for "national journal." welcome, major. we'll be back next week with our annual thanksgiving weekend book show when we interview the authors of our favorite books of the year. so we'll see you then. z
11:26 am
11:27 am
♪ z ♪ no two people have the same financial goals. pnc works with you to understand yours and help plan for your retirement. visit a branch or call now for your personal retirement review.
11:28 am
captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
11:29 am

Face the Nation
CBS November 18, 2012 10:30am-11:30am EST

News/Business. News interviews with distinguished national and foreign figures. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Israel 21, Us 12, Washington 11, Libya 6, Egypt 5, Mccain 4, Schieffer 4, Paula Broadwell 4, Susan Rice 4, Olympia Snowe 4, United States 4, U.s. 4, America 4, United Nations 3, Bob 3, Clinton 3, Margaret Brennan 3, Margaret 3, Dick Durbin 3, Iraq 3
Network CBS
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 77 (543 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 11/18/2012